Relationships power referrals. Referrals rock sales—rock yours.

I received four referral introductions last week. I could hardly believe it. Even for me, that’s a lot. In all cases, people offered referrals before I asked. How did they happen?

Referral #1: The Banker

  • The client, Jim, is a great connector and frequently invited me for coffee.
  • We brainstormed options to train new people at the bank and also to reinforce referral sales skills for others on his team.
  • He asked if I knew a colleague of his at another bank. I didn’t. Jim told me all about his colleague and offered the introduction.

Referrals #2 and #3: The Software Reseller

  • Ken and I spoke to debrief his company’s referral program. The organization had amazing results—even though there was turnover during our engagement, they re-branded the company, and decided to represent two new products.
  • Toward the end of our call, Ken offered to introduce me to a client of his who wants to build a referral business.
  • Ken also offered to introduce me to a software publisher as a keynote speaker for a future sales meeting which hundreds of sales professionals attend.

Referral #4: A Financial Consultant

  • A colleague of mine introduced me to a top salesperson, Sue—a real go-getter.
  • Sue and I spoke. The company she works for had been a prospect of mine, and I knew several of the players. She offered to introduce me to their head of sales—saying that the company needs my referral program.
  • I also offered to introduce her to several people I know.

Moral? It’s always about the relationships you build—whether you’ve known someone for years or they’re a fairly new acquaintance. Everyone is part of the sales team. You’ve already earned their trust because you received a referral.

Always focus on helping someone else first. “How can I help you?” What a great question to ask.

It’s really that simple. Get out there, make connections, deliver value, help someone out, put people together, and facilitate a discussion.

Sometimes, taking the medicine isn’t so bad. In fact, in addition to being good for you (and your business), it–like success–tastes terrific.

Share Your Success: Comment Here

What’s your most recent referral success story? How do the people you know make a difference? And how do you make a difference to them? I respond to every thoughtful comment. So join the conversation.